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Dragonheart
D: Rob Cohen (1996) 88m


Sean Connery voices Draco the dragon, who teams up with Bowen (Dennis Quaid) - the last of the great dragon-slayers - in a travelling roadshow designed to convince the masses of their worth. As fate would have it, circumstances arise that pit them against real evil once again. Lots of terrific action, humour and heroism.





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The Mummy
D: Stephen Sommers (1999) 124m


Terrific film starring Brendan Fraser as a rogue adventurer out to help an Egyptologist find the lost city of Hamunaptra. Once there they accidentally unleash the mummy of Imhotep and all manner of mayhem ensues. The critics didn't like it much, but fans will tell you the blend of action, humour, adventure and horror is just about right.





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The 13th Warrior
D: John McTiernan (1992) 102m


In the 10th century an Arab is banished from his homeland thanks to his romantic interests. He joins up with a motley band of Vikings whose personal habits he finds pretty disgusting. Unbeknownst to the hero, he is earmarked to be the 13th warrior in a brutal battle against unspeakable evil. Loosely based on the Beowulf myth.





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The Scorpion King
D: Chuck Russell (2002) 92m


Don't expect too much from a film starring a WWF wrestler (The Rock), but if sword & sorcery that bears little relevance to real history is your thing you might give this a try. In the age before the Egyptian pharaohs an Akkadian assassin takes on an evil king. One of them will end up ruling the desert as the Scorpion King. Kelly Hu does an eye-catching job as the sorceress Cassandra.





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Spider-Man
D: Sam Raimi (2002) 121m


Claimed by both the fantasy and sci-fi communities, Spider-Man is a passable superhero blockbuster that pretty much offers up what most would expect. A high school geek (Tobey Maguire) is bitten by a genetically-modified spider and attains spidery super-powers. He squares off against the Green Goblin and goes OK with his girl.





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'The Chronicles of Narnia' Film Series
D: Andrew Adamson, et al (2005) 135m average


This first instalment of the big screen version of CS Lewis' seven-volume Chronicles of Narnia has plenty to like about it. The familiar story of four siblings who pass through a magical wardrobe into a land of perpetual winter gets the big-budget treatment, although for a family movie it does tend to run a bit long. Entertaining, but hard to see the series running its full length.





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Stardust
D: Matthew Vaughn (2007) 125m


Based on the Neil Gaiman novel, this fabulous movie manages to span all the iconic elements of modern fantasy in one neat package. There's swordplay, witches, pirates and - of course - romance. Dashing but naïve Tristan Thorne is driven to leave the confines of his safe walled village to take on evil forces in search of a fallen star for his lover. And that's just for starters...





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The Dark Knight
D: Christopher Nolan (2008) 152m


The second instalment in Christopher Nolan's Batman series is a marked improvement over 2005's Batman Begins. Featuring a remarkable performance from the late-Heath Ledger as the Joker, he described the character as a, "psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy". Fine performances all around make this the best Batman in a long while.


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